One of the buzziest titles to debut at this month’s Sundance Film Festival is already off the market. “Call Me By Your Name,” a gay love story in the tradition of “Brokeback Mountain,” has sold to Sony Pictures Classics, Variety has learned.
The deal for worldwide rights, estimated to be north of $6 million, was struck after several buyers expressed serious interest. The movie will debut in the upcoming Park City festival’s Premieres section on Jan. 22.
“Call Me By Your Name,” adapted from the 2007 novel by Andre Aciman, follows an affair after a chance meeting in 1980s Italy between a 17-year-old boy (Timothee Chalamet from “Homeland”) and a twentysomething man (Armie Hammer). It’s not clear what the movie will be rated, but the book involves a sexually explicit act with a peach and other charged moments.
The film was made by acclaimed Italian director Luca Guadagnino (“A Bigger Splash”) and produced by Emilie Georges, Guadagnino, James Ivory, Marco Morabito, Howard Rosenman, Peter Spears and Rodrigo Teixeira.
Executive producers include Naima Abed, Tom Dolby, Sophie Mas, Francesco Melzi, Lourenco Sant’Anna, Derek Simonds and Margarethe Baillou.
The early sale for “Call Me By Your Name” coincides with a trend happening at film festivals, where hot properties are scooped up early, as distributors are eager to avoid all-night bidding wars with deep-pocketed players like Netflix. Last year’s Sundance featured two such big auctions for “The Birth of a Nation” (which sold for a record-breaking $17.5 million to Fox Searchlight) and “Manchester by the Sea” ($10 million to Amazon Studios). The rest of the titles in 2016 either arrived with distribution in tow or found homes in a slow trickle of deals.
WME and UTA Independent Film Group handed the sale.